United States Patent Application: 0090221720

 

We don't think ConocoPhillips is really trying to hide anything by labeling their Coal liquefaction scheme, as disclosed in the recent US Patent application we're sending along in this dispatch, as a "Carbon-To-Liquids  Process".

That title simply acknowledges the facts, as we have in other reports emphasized, that:

A synthetic liquid fuels industry, because of the current economies of scale, would, without question, have to be founded on Coal.

But, the Coal conversion process selected can be designed and implemented so as to be able to accept other, renewable and Carbon-recycling, raw materials along with the Coal.

Further, some of the initial Coal conversion products of this ConocoPhillips process, "Oxygenates", a label which, we submit, includes such compounds as Methanol and Ethanol, can, in confirmation of other reports we've submitted attesting to the fact, be recycled back into the system to aid in the conversion of more Carbon, i.e., Coal.

There is quite a bit more to it, as well, including the facts that Carbon Dioxide gas itself can be recycled within the process; and, that Steam can be utilized in the "reforming" steps as a source of Hydrogen; as we attempt to emphasize in comment within, and following, excerpts from the enclosed link to:

 

"US Patent Application 20090221720 - Conversion of Oxygenates ... in a Carbon-To-Liquids Process

 

Date: September, 2009

 

Inventor: Barbara Belt, et. al., Texas and Alaska

 

Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company, Houston

 

Abstract: Processes for making hydrogen and optionally carbon monoxide and their integrations in a Carbon-to-Liquids plant are disclosed. A first syngas produced by a first syngas generator is converted in a hydrocarbon synthesis process to hydrocarbon products, oxygenates and product water comprising dissolved oxygenates. The first syngas generator may use partial oxidation, reforming, gasifying, or pyrolysis of any solid, liquid or gaseous carbonaceous feedstock. The product water may be treated, for example by distillation and/or by stripping, to form an oxygenates-rich stream which comprises a reforming reactant and oxygenates originating from the product water. Oxygenates from the oxygenates-rich stream fed to a second syngas generator are converted under reforming conditions to form at least hydrogen. The hydrogen formed by reforming may be supplied to one or more units using hydrogen within a Carbon-to-Liquids plant.

Claims: A process for making hydrogen or syngas from the conversion of oxygenates originating from a hydrocarbon synthesis product water in a carbon-to-liquids process, the process comprising: providing a syngas generator comprising a reforming zone; providing a process water stream comprising oxygenates originating from a hydrocarbon synthesis product water; treating said process water stream to form an oxygenates-rich stream ...  and passing said oxygenates-rich stream through said reforming zone in said syngas generator under reforming promoting conditions for the conversion of said oxygenates and said reforming reactant to form at least hydrogen and optionally carbon monoxide, and to generate a synthesis gas stream comprising said formed hydrogen and optionally said formed carbon monoxide.

(And)  wherein said reforming reactant ... is water ..., carbon dioxide, or combinations thereof.

The process ... further comprising ... supplying at least a portion of the hydrogen formed  (to) at least one of the units selected from the group consisting of a water-gas shift reactor; a hydrogen separation unit; a hydrocarbon synthesis reactor; a catalyst activation unit; a catalyst regeneration unit, a product upgrading unit, and combinations thereof, in order to enhance at least one factor selected from the group consisting of market value of synthetic hydrocarbons.

The process ... further comprises feeding CO2 to said reforming zone.

A process for producing synthetic hydrocarbon and further producing hydrogen and optionally CO in a carbon-to-liquids system comprising two syngas generators operated in parallel, the process comprising: converting a carbonaceous feedstream ... to form a first synthesis gas stream comprising carbon monoxide and hydrogen; feeding said first synthesis gas stream or a portion thereof to a hydrocarbon synthesis reactor comprising a hydrocarbon synthesis catalyst under conversion promoting conditions sufficient to produce synthetic hydrocarbons, product water, and oxygenates.

The process ...  further comprising ... supplying at least a portion of the hydrogen formed  ... to  ... a product upgrading unit ... in order to enhance at least one factor selected from the group consisting of market value of synthetic hydrocarbons; productivity of a hydrocarbon synthesis reactor; activity of a hydrocarbon synthesis catalyst; longevity of a hydrocarbon synthesis catalyst; and any combinations of two or more factors thereof. 

The process ... wherein said carbonaceous feedstream ... comprises ... coal, coke, biomass ... and any combinations of two or more materials thereof (and/or) a methane-containing stream ... .

(We have many times documented the facts that we can make Methane, via the 1912 Nobel-winning Sabatier process, as NASA intends doing on the planet Mars, from Carbon Dioxide; or, via long-known techniques of Steam-gasification, from Coal.)

A process for producing synthetic hydrocarbons and further producing hydrogen and optionally CO in a carbon-to-liquids system.

Background: Generally, fuels produced from non-petroleum sources have been so expensive relative to fuels refined from crude oil that production has been very low. However, due to recent high prices for crude oil and due to significant increase in transportation fuels demand not met by current production from petroleum, there is a renewed interest in the development of economical processes for the conversion of various carbonaceous materials other than crude oil, such as for example coal ... and/or biomass.

(This) type of conversion (is) identified as `Carbon-to-Liquids` conversion or `CTL`, regardless of what ... the carbonaceous feedstock may be.

One CTL process converts coal to synthetic hyrocarbons, and is generally known as a coal-to-liquids process. It has been known for several decades that coal can be converted to useful products by a large variety of gasification and liquefaction processes.

(A few questions: Has that, really, "been known for several decades" in US Coal Country? Why not?)

Two basic methods are used for converting solid carbonaceous material (e.g., coal) to liquid fuel. One method involves gasification of the coal and subsequent conversion of the generated gas to transportation fuels (e.g., gasoline), for example by the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The other method involves mixing dry pulverized coal particles with recycled solvent oil to produce a slurry and passing the slurry with hydrogen through a high-temperature high-pressure reactor to effect hydrogenation and hydrocracking. Almost all such processes for producing liquid fuel from coal include the manufacture of hydrogen or a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, also called `synthesis gas` or `syngas`. Heretofore, the cost of producing the hydrogen from coal has been excessive, and the hydrogen produced has not been used in the most effective manner."

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But, via this ConocoPhillips invention, "the cost of producing the hydrogen from coal", as immediately above, is no longer "excessive"; and, all of the Hydrogen required to hydrogenate Coal's carbon content, to synthesize hydrocarbons, "e.g., gasoline", again as above, and/or other "transportation fuels", can be generated as an integral function of their total Coal conversion process.

And, note the Carbon-recycling facets inherent in that process: Not only can Carbon-recycling organic wastes, as in "various carbonaceous materials" and Carbon Dioxide itself, both as noted specifically above, be incorporated, but, again, so can Methane - which, we submit, can be synthesized from Carbon Dioxide via the Sabatier process.

Finally, you know, it's not just the "hydrogen" that "has not been used in the most effective manner".

By extension, and as herein, the same can be said of our most abundant domestic resource: Coal.


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